Progressive Metal: Riff Building

Back in the sixties and seventies progressive rock bands like King Crimson, Yes and Jethro Tull pushed rock into new artistic directions. In recent years progressive metal bands like; Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and Opeth have built on the platform of this style taking it even further.

The concept with this style of music is that of blending the heavy metal overdrive sound of electric rock guitar with the structure of classical, jazz and world music. The main difference between rock and progressive metal is the complexity of prog. metal's arrangements. In standard radio friendly rock, the song structures are more like typical pop songs with verse, bridge chorus arrangements. This works well for the average radio station keeping with it's popularity approach for more friendly palatable music on the airwaves. One listen to any progressive metal tune awakens the listener to multiple sections of a piece often moving through different keys and time signatures. And, having long playtimes of 5-7 min. or longer. Certainly more creative and complex, however obviously not very radio friendly.

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